The Ultimate Guide to Magnet Fishing

What is magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing is like using metal detectors underwater; you toss a strong Neodymium magnet into lakes, rivers, or canals to see what ferrous items you can uncover. Participants typically attach a powerful magnet to a rope and cast it into lakes, rivers, or canals. As they drag the magnet along the bottom, it attracts and collects metallic items such as coins, jewellery, tools, or even historical artefacts.

These magnets aren’t your ordinary fridge magnets – they’re made of Neodymium, the strongest magnetic material on Earth. They latch onto metal objects in the water, hence the nickname “underwater metal detectors.”

Magnet fishing is generally legal in the UK. However, there may be specific regulations and restrictions depending on the location and local authorities.

In fact, it’s important to obtain consent from the landowner if you wish to avoid being caught trespassing. The Canal & Rivers Trust explicitly prohibits magnet fishing due to its high risk, so you’ll need to locate a privately owned water body if you’re interested in trying your luck with this activity.

There are also laws concerning what you may find and remove from bodies of water, especially if the items have historical or archaeological significance.

Additionally, some areas may have bylaws or regulations regarding magnet fishing to protect the environment or prevent potential hazards. Therefore, it’s advisable to research and adhere to any relevant laws and guidelines before engaging in magnet fishing in the UK.

What magnets are best for magnet fishing?

When it comes to magnet fishing, neodymium magnets are widely regarded as the best choice due to their strong magnetic force. Specifically, neodymium magnets with a high pull force are preferred, typically ranging from 200 to 1000 pounds or more. These magnets are powerful enough to retrieve heavier objects from bodies of water with ease.

Additionally, magnets with a durable outer coating, such as nickel or epoxy, are recommended to protect against corrosion and damage.

What do you need for magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing is a highly affordable hobby to take part in. All you’ll need to get going is a rope around 10 to 30 metres long, with a thickness ranging between 8mm and 12mm, preferably braided for increased resilience, as well as a fishing or recovery neodymium magnet.

Other essential items you will need include protective gloves, a collection bucket for retrieved items, a carabiner to secure the rope and prevent losing the magnet in the water, and a thread lock.

Magnet fishing pros may also use grappling hooks to extract even larger objects from the water.

How to tie a magnet fishing knot

To tie a knot suitable for magnet fishing, start by forming a loop at the end of the rope. Pass the loop through the eye of the magnet, then bring it back over the magnet and thread it through the loop. Pull the knot tight to secure the magnet in place.

Next, create a figure of eight knot by crossing the rope over itself to form two loops, then thread the end of the rope through both loops and pull tight.

Always test that the knot is strong and secure before fishing to avoid losing your magnet in the water.

Where can you go magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing offers a wide range of promising locations. Some prime spots include:

  1. Canals and rivers: These water bodies are popular among magnet fishers due to their historical significance and the likelihood of finding old coins, discarded tools and even weapons.
  2. Docks and marinas: Areas where boats dock or are moored can be fruitful grounds for magnet fishing. People often accidentally drop items like keys, jewellery, or tools into the water while loading or unloading their boats.
  3. Piers and jetties: Similar to docks, piers and jetties attract magnet fishers because of the frequent human activity and the potential for items to be dropped or lost in the water.
  4. Lakes and reservoirs: These are excellent locations for magnet fishing, especially in areas where recreational activities like swimming, fishing, or boating occur.
  5. Historical sites: Sites with historical significance, such as old bridges, harbours, or ports, often hold hidden treasures beneath the water’s surface.
  6. Urban waterways: Any urban area with canals, rivers, or ponds can offer opportunities for magnet fishing.
  7. Beaches: While less common, magnet fishing on beaches can still offer some interesting finds.

Remember to always get the necessary permissions, respect local regulations, and prioritise safety and environmental conservation when exploring these sites.

What can you find magnet fishing?

Magnet fishing is a thrilling hobby that can offer some interesting discoveries, including antique coins, jewellery, tools, and even historical artefacts.

While common finds include rusted nails, screws, bolts, and other small metal objects, enthusiasts also uncover bicycles, shopping trolleys, discarded safes, and sometimes even firearms. Lost keys, mobile phones, and electronic devices occasionally surface as well.

Magnet fishers may come across intriguing items like old signage, vintage machinery parts, or military relics, offering glimpses into the past.

While not every haul results in valuable or historical finds, the excitement of uncovering hidden treasures beneath the water’s surface always adds to the appeal of this unique hobby.

What to do if your magnet gets stuck

If your fishing magnet becomes lodged underwater, it can be a frustrating situation, but there are steps you can take to try to retrieve it.

Firstly, remain calm and assess the situation. Gently try to wiggle the rope or pull from different angles to loosen the magnet’s grip. You could also consider using a second magnet attached to a sturdy line to increase magnetic force and dislodge the stuck magnet.

Alternatively, shifting your position and pulling from a different angle may help. If you have one, a grappling hook can also be useful in freeing the magnet.

If these methods fail, it may be wise to seek help from a professional diver or someone experienced in underwater recovery.

Magnet fishing safety tips

When it comes to magnet fishing, safety should always be a big concern. Here are some crucial safety tips to keep in mind:

Firstly, wear protective gloves to shield your hands from any sharp or rusty objects that may be retrieved from the water.

Secondly, take the time to familiarise yourself with local regulations governing magnet fishing in your area and make sure you have any necessary permissions and are aware of any prohibited locations.

Stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Be mindful of water currents, slippery surfaces, and potential hazards both in and out of the water.

Before casting your magnet, double-check that all equipment is securely fastened and in good condition.

Lastly, responsibly dispose of any waste or debris you collect from the water to help preserve the environment for future enjoyment.

Looking to get into magnet fishing? e-Magnets offers a huge selection of neodymium magnets, catering to enthusiasts of all levels. From beginner-friendly options to high-powered magnets for experienced magnet fishers. We stock discs, rings, blocks, spheres and other variations. Contact us and let us find what you need.

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